For some people, getting wisdom teeth extracted is an anticipated rite of passage into adulthood. But not everyone has to get these molars removed. If your own wisdom teeth grow in properly, are correctly positioned and don’t cause any problems, your dentist may prefer that they stay in. However, there are several common reasons why wisdom teeth may need to come out. Here are a few:
Crowding. There may not be enough room in your mouth to accomodate your wisdom teeth. In such a case, this can cause your other teeth to become crowded or shift out of position. Braces can’t be used on wisdom teeth, so the teeth have to be removed in order to correct the problem.
Misalignment. Wisdom teeth can also grow in at odd angles that make them useless for chewing. Such teeth are also difficult to clean. Sometimes, they will even point in the wrong direction, or only emerge partially from the gums. If this is the case with your own set of third molars, your dentist may recommend removal to prevent future problems, since bacteria love to gather on difficult-to-reach teeth.
Impacted teeth. In some cases, wisdom teeth remain under the surface of the gums, unable to erupt properly. They may grow in sideways or get blocked from devloping by surrounding teeth. Because impacted teeth are prone to becoming repeatedly infected, your dentist will probably want to remove them.
Cavities. If one or more of your wisdom teeth develop cavities, your dentist will likely recommend removal over fillings. Wisdom teeth are especially difficult to clean and likely to develop cavities again. It may be simpler to remove them.
What to expect when your wisdom teeth are removed Most wisdom tooth removals occur in the dentist’s office under local anaesthesia, but sedation dentistry is possible for those who are nervous about dental procedures. General anaesthesia may also be used in more complicated removals, but only operations with a greater risk of complications will be done in a hospital (very rare). After the procedure, recovery will likely be swift, and in most cases doesn’t extend beyond a few days. You’ll probably need to eat soft foods during the recovery period, and possibly for some time afterwards. If you’re looking for a family dentist to assess your wisdom teeth in Victoria, visit us at Sherwood Family Dental. We’ll be happy to have a look and let you know the best treatment plan for your teeth. Give us a call or schedule an appointment using the form on our website.